Isaiah 40:29 – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
As many wait for “normal” life to resume after COVID-19 is kept in check, there is a side effect that no one planned for – loss of strength.
Staying at home may protect you from getting sick. However, it means you’re less active. Unless you have exercise equipment at home, it is difficult to get any exercise. Even taking a walk is a risk with possible exposure from someone you run into on your walk.
We stay home and our strength disappears. When you do go out for necessities to the store, you many find yourself out of breath from just walking up and down a few isles.
There are alternatives, though, that can be taken. Many stores now provide pickup service. You go to the store’s website and place an order and then park in front of the store when your groceries are ready to be picked up.
But that doesn’t solve the problem of inactivity.
Brainstorm with your family and see what you can come up with that would involve everyone. Youtube.com has a free video to strengthen your body and get your body moving.
Webmd.com also has some advice on how to work out at home in their article, “No Gym Required: How to Get Fit at Home.” Some of their tips include finding an exercise partner. This will help each of you motivate the other. Also schedule your workouts like you would if you went to the gym. This will keep you on track. Also set goals and make exercise a part of your life, not just a bother or an interruption to your day.
Wikihow.com has ideas with animations to show you how to perform exercises in their article, “How to Build Muscle at Home.” They provide some creative ways to exercise such as using a gallon of milk, a heavy book, or home dumbbells.
With ideas from the articles above you now have ways to create your own workout and restore your strength from staying at home during COVID-19 precautions.
Even when you feel as if you have no strength and are weary of staying at home, know that God increases the power of the weak. He will give you the wisdom you need to regain the strength you’ve lost during COVID-19.
Jeremiah 10:19 – Woe to me because of my injury! My wound is incurable! Yet I said to myself, “This is my sickness, and I must endure it.”
You keep your head bent toward the ground watching for any obstacles that may be in front of us. The only problem is, if you keep your head bend down, it will put extra pressure on your neck which in turn, can bring about pain in your neck.
So, you try to keep your head up when you miss a crack in the sidewalk and down you go anyway.
Living with chronic pain is not only difficult but feels like it’s impossible to live with. You aren’t really living if you feel you need to be hyper vigilant all day. Much stress builds up in our muscles and in our emotions.
How do we balance everything?
One way to do so is to be aware of your surroundings. Know where the cracks in the sidewalk or uneven surfaces lie. This way you can create a road map in a sense of your surroundings.
Another way to do so, is to try not to walk at night. Darkness can hide dangers that may be in front of you. If you must go out, carry a flashlight with you for areas where streetlights don’t show the way.
Become, also, a student of your body. If you’re having a bad pain day or vertigo is on the loose, don’t take a walk. Having a dog may bring with its dangers. It may be a good idea to just let your dog only go to the end of the leash while you stand in the doorway.
Pay attention to the weather. If it’s raining or has recently rained, be aware that your path may be slippery. It may be a good day to stay indoors unless you absolutely must go out.
Outsideonline.com posts the article, “Your Fear of Reinjury Could get you Hurt Again,” and talks about how the fear of re-injury can keep you from returning to a sport or activity. It can even affect the things you do at home. Many want to write off this fear as being all in your head, but it can affect how your body heals. Fear and anxiety can affect motivation, confidence, and body mechanics, even in patients who have made a full recovery. This can lead to self-limiting behaviors. Evaluating and treating emotional trauma while healing goes a long way.
It’s important to be aware of your limitations, but it’s also important to continue to use a pre-injured part of your body.
Look at the Bible verse above, the writer had a wound they thought was incurable and resigned themselves to believing they must just endure it. Some wounds and illnesses are incurable. But not trying may lead to something to just endure and not to recovering from it. Talk to God about your fears and ask for wisdom on when and how you can go back to normal living.
Psalm 38:7 – My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.
Not long ago, my sister had major back surgery recreating her back. She’d been bent over and couldn’t straighten out her back and was constantly in pain.
Along came a doctor who thought he could fix her back and eliminate most of her back pain. He seemed confident in what his plan was – He would untwist her spine, fuse together vertebrae and use two titanium rods to hold her back together.
It was a lengthy surgery. Six hours and counting. In the end, my sister had nine vertebrae fused together. She was going to face weeks of physical therapy and she had to wear a brace whenever she sat up or got out of bed. The brace was heavy and awkward, but they taught her how to use it.
Now, she wishes she never had the surgery. Unfortunately, there’s no going back now.
What do you do when you think that it’s worth the risk to have an extensive surgery? You do your research and have a second opinion. Once that is done, you just make a choice.
Modern medicine has come a long way with the types of surgeries and treatments there are to help those who have serious conditions.
Another member of my family also had a serious surgery done. My son-in-law had already had several back surgeries, but the latest surgery was for his neck. His hand and shoulder had lost most feeling and mobility. So, he chose to have the surgery done. It will be a long hill to walk up, but if he follows the doctor’s orders for recovery, he will have a better chance at a good outcome.
Physiciansweekly.com has some ideas on how to have a good outcome after surgery in their article, “Enhancing Recovery After Back Surgery.” In the article, reasons why a back surgeries outcome can be largely be negative because the patient refuses to do home exercises and physical therapy. Thus, the first way you can increase a good outcome is to do the home exercises and participate in physical therapy. One promising suggestion is for the patient to participate in phone intervention. It’s basically a form of counseling with a therapist that is trained in motivational interviewing. With this form of patient participation there was a greater percentage of healing both physically and emotionally. The article also discusses potential barriers for success including fear of movement and concern about pain management.
The Bible verse above paints a bleak picture of the one suffering. They even felt the pain throughout their body, and it made it seem that there was no health. Thankfully, God is a god of compassion and will give us wisdom on what we can do on our part to help us heal and emotionally even if the pain still exists.
Job 33:19 - Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones
For years, the medical profession saw pain as the result of an injury or illness. However, there are times when the pain cannot easily be connected to a specific injury. It may even occur in an area which does not show up on any examinations such as x-rays or MRI’s.
This can be difficult not only for the physician to diagnose, but for the patient who can be made to feel like it’s not real. However, it is real and it does hurt.
Spine-health.com in their article, “Chronic Pain as a Disease: Why Does It Still Hurt?” talks about chronic pain being renamed as a disease. This can affect types of treatments, the prognosis and different ways to diagnose chronic pain.
Many times there is no physical evidence of the pain. You can’t physically see a headache, unless it is caused by a tumor, which can be seen on a CAT scan. However, you can diagnose a patient with chronic pain by also following their symptoms.
Treating chronic pain as an illness opens up new doors of treatment. Physical therapy has in the past mostly been given to those with therapy after a broken bone heals, muscle therapy or therapy after a stroke. Now, that chronic pain has been attributed to being like a disease the therapist can also treat the chronic pain patient with physical therapy.
Treatment can also be outlined for a patient at home. This method of stretches and aerobic exercises can be beneficial for the patient with chronic pain. Also, being that the therapy takes place at home; the patient doesn’t have to go through finding a ride if they don’t drive or shifting their personal schedule so that they can go to physical therapy.
I for one have been doing home treatments for my chronic pain for some time. I had been given therapy at a treatment center and then sent home with specific exercises to do. I have kept up my routine exercises because I found that though it may hurt some while doing the workout; in the long run my pain has been more manageable.
I look forward to the days when pain as an illness will be recognized and new ways of treatment are discovered. If you’d like to read more information about pain as a disease, select the link below to spine-health.com.
Have you experienced difficulty in finding the right diagnosis for your pain and treatment for it? Be sure to let us know.
Proverbs 25:16 - If you find honey, eat just enough-- too much of it, and you will vomit.
There are many reasons why people gain weight:
One of the main factors of weight gain is chronic pain. As I just stated, taking medications for the pain, such as some antidepressants, can contribute to weight gain. Also, because it hurts so much just to move around, you aren’t as active as you used to be which may cause your system to slow down.
The article, “Could Weight Gain be Adding to Your Pain?” on Berkeleywellness.com contains the results of a survey showing just how likely a person with chronic pain will gain excess weight.
Another thing to look at is how much food you eat. It can be that gradually you started eating more food to help ease pain. But just as the Bible verse above states, too much of eating sweet foods isn’t good. When you pay attention to what you’re eating, you may notice that at first that candy bar tastes great but later it’s taste falls short. Not so with fruits and vegetables. The sweetness of an orange stays the same throughout its consumption.
So what can we do? Eat less and though it may seem like you’d be causing more pain, exercise is a key ingredient to not only losing weight but also decreasing pain.
Need some motivation to exercise? Take a pound of hamburger out of the freezer. Look at it. Note how the weight feels. Now think about all of the excess weight you’re walking around with.
Even if you lose one pound it will help lift a piece of the burden off your back and reduce pain. And the increase of activity will rev up your metabolism, help you sleep better, and even help with your emotional state.
To read some tips on exercise and staying fit for life select the link below.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 - Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
When you are stressed or in severe physical pain, adrenalin floods your system. It takes your kidneys at least 20 minutes to filter the adrenalin out of your blood stream. You have to allow your body time to catch up.
One way to get rid of all that adrenaline is to exercise. There are many positives to exercising and staying fit:
You don’t even think about it if you need to take care of your car when it breaks down, yet we often neglect our own body. You may think that not working out helps you avoid pain, but the opposite is true. The more time you take off, between exercise sessions, the more it will hurt the next time.
Okay, motivation. How do I get myself to work out? You may be thinking that you already have enough exercise in your day, but hard work and exercise aren’t the same.
If it was your child that had to exercise to get better, what would you motivate them with? Here’s a way that may at least get you out the door to the gym or start exercising if you work out at home.
On a really down day, try doing only a modified work-out. Some exercise is better than no exercise. Usually though, once you get started working out you’ll keep going.
Reward yourself for working out, whether it’s buying that new shirt you’ve wanted, going to a movie, or even getting a little frozen yogurt on the way home. (You noticed, I didn’t say ice cream! Though, hey, that’s what I’d want!) Anyway, seriously, think about what motivates you to do other things and apply it to working out.
Being committed to working out is important to God, also. In the verses above the author was encouraging believers to run in such a way to win. This was primarily about our spiritual walk with God, but it can also be applied to exercising. You can’t just exercise every once in a while and expect to see results. Exercise for your body’s sake, but also exercise for God. He will in the end reward your efforts.
Select the blue “comments” below and let me know if you exercise regularly and what motivates you to do so. I look forward to hearing from you.
*** Please note: Do not attempt any exercises before you consult with your doctor.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.